Food Smuggling: Customs To Secure 1,500 Illegal Routes With Drones

As part of efforts to end food smuggling activities in the country, the Nigeria Customs Service, has deployed drones and more operatives to cub the diversion of foodstuff to neighbouring countries through 1,500 identified illegal border crossings.

Disclosing this to the public on Sunday, the National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, confirmed to newsmen that the NCS had increased its presence across the borders, including the illegal routes.

Abdullahi added that it was in compliance with the Presidential directive to the security agencies to stop the smuggling of food out of the country as part of decisive measures to end food crisis in the country.

He said: The deployment of drones and other software is part of our Trade Modernisation Project, which has been concessioned.

“The TMP was approved by the Federal Government for 20 years.

“So any development that has to do with what you are asking is part of the contract.”

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“We have recruited a large number of personnel in the last few years in terms of human resources. And even this year, based on the approved budget, there is going to be the recruitment of more junior staff to be able to effectively manage the border areas.

“I may not be able to give the exact figure now, but I know that over 2,000 officers have been recruited from 2019 till now.

“In terms of equipment, modernisation, the use of drones and other sophisticated technologies in managing the borders that are contained in our Trade Modernisation Project which is concessioned for 20 years.

“The concession agreement is between the Federal Government and Trade Modernisation Limited. They are providing scanners, software and all necessary technologies required at the seaports, airports and borders.”